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The Fifteenth Year

St. Andrew's Invades Vinhold -- Province of St. Andrew
July 26, 1980 (AS XV)

From The Page (July, 1980):


St. Andrew will invade Vinhold on 26 July to recapture the Wizard of the Astral Fog, whom Vinhold ensared on his way through the valleys and vinyards. Since Vinhold is also the seat of the Magician's Guild, it has most ingeniously contrived to have this invasion of its territory, with the customary devastation of land, village, and vines, take place on the land of the invaders, St. Andrew. At press time the site was not confirmed, but will probably be Stern Grove, the site of many previous events. As soon as the site is confirmed, notice will be sent to all branch seneschals. Check with yours a week or two beforehand to be sure of where you're going.

There are plans for war archery, but not target archery, and, wherever the festivities are held, they will begin at 10 am. on Saturday, 26 July.

From The Page (September, 1980):


As the fog (how appropriate), lifted at Stern Grove on July 26th both Vinhold and St. Andrew gathered their forces for war. An informal court was held, and Prince Kevin announced his intention to alternate sides, fighting in equal number of battles for both groups, his reasoning being, "the only other way I could see to remain fair and impartial was to order mass executions."

After the mercenaries decided whether to fight for Truth and Justice or the Province of St. Andrew, the war was begun.

The bridge was held by the valiant forces of Vinhold for 30 minutes of hard fought combat before it fell to a force superior in numbers of both fighters and pikes. (Alas, Vinhold had but one pike against so many!)

Next was a short battle between the javelin forces. This time it was the Vinholders who achieved victory.

Again the fighters gathered, this time to meet in open field. St. Andrew's Champion and his force of ruthless mercenaries (no fighters living in St. Andrew's were present), defeated the hapless forces of Vinhold.

Realizing that all was not lost, the brave Vinhold fighters challenged their enemies to another battle. Indeed Providence did smile for the outnumbered Vinhold army, and they did defeat the invaders from St. Andrew's.

Vinhold then had to defend its castle. Again, fighting against superior numbers, Vinhold's Castle fell. Valiant Count Frederick of Holland was the last to fall, defending the castle to the last, as also he had done at the bridge.

Throughout the day's battles, screams of anguish could be heard from the families and friends of fighters dying on the field. Prince Kevin, judging well the non-combatant mourning, awarded the victory in that contest to the side of Vinhold.

Both armies then retired from the field as the day was ending.

Vinhold claimed a moral victory as they had fought to a 3-3 tie despite facing a larger and more experienced opponent.

The bodylooting and war song contests were never held, so a state of war still exists. However, a temporary cease-fire has been called so that the respective seneschals may deal with political rumblings in their branches.


The Province of St. Andrew's has developed a new formula for success:

  1. Invade a neighboring Shire on a field as far as possible from that Shire.
  2. Don't bother to field any native troops.
  3. Hire mercenaries on the promise of a bottle of mead, and drink it up before they come to collect.
This innovative recruiting allowed St. Andrew's to field a force equal in numbers to Vinhold's stalwart 18.

With the sun reputed to be at its zenith above the fog, Vinhold held a redoubt at the end of a somewhat shakily-walled bridge. Less than a third of St. Andrew's ad hoc army won past. In the open field, however, the victory was more decisive, with only two dead and two wounded when the last Vinholder fled. (In an instant rematch, four Vinholders survived to victory - aied by several fratricidal deaths amidst the St. Andrew's forces). Finally, as the putative sun sank toward the reputed horizon, St. Andrew's stormed into the Vinhold castle, taking but one casualty in the process.

Then the folk of St. Andrew's looked upon the carnage that their hirelines had wrought, and proclaimed: "Non est culpa nostra!"

(The author is (?) for first article, Hilary of Serendip and William the Lucky for the second article)

Description of this event (if any), taken from The Page, or from memory of at least one person who attended the event.

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